Archives for posts with tag: Scotland

Roy Moller 1968
SWING
by Roy Moller

About the time they brought me home
from the ward of the Church
and the horn-rimmed nurse,
youthful Henry John Burnett
went plummeting through a trapdoor
on new gallows at Craiginches:
the last man to swing on
judicial rope in Scotland.

I fell through the rest of the decade;
the panoramic palimpsest
of Edinburgh swung me
in and out of the realisation
the city was cast more solid than me,
was visited by my adopted existence,
was casual, always, to my vexations.
Now I’ve grown into that notion.

Throughout the sixties an honesty plant
was strung like rope the length of the stairs
that bore my stomping tantrums
which amplified as I started to bristle,
amplified as I rummaged and rustled
through drawers and files for identity
as I was pinioned and made ready
to dangle through adolescence.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: This is a photo of me at age five with my friend Susan in her back garden (Edinburgh, Scotland, 1968). I look quite innocent here, and I was.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem came into being when I realised that the date in August 1963 of the last man being hanged in Scotland was around the time I would have been brought home from the adoption ward of the Church of Scotland after five or so weeks as Baby Jamie Hoffman to became Roy Moller for the rest of my life. I have felt quite stateless throughout my life, probably stemming from my adoption, and in early adolescence I tried to find out more about where I came from and obtained some details including my original name. I tried to trace my family bloodline but was too young to really go about it properly. The images of swinging and dangling come from my feelings of lack of control of my own identity, feelings which persist in me today.

Roy Moller 2015

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roy Moller is a poet and songwriter from Edinburgh living in Dunbar, Scotland, whose first collection, Imports, was published late last year by Appletree Writers’ Press. In 2014, his  musical about growing up under the influence of Lou Reed was presented at the Edinburgh Fringe and his album of the show’s songs later gained a 10/10 review from Louder Than War magazine. Most recently he was asked to write and perform a poem for A Celebration of Nina Simone at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Visit him at roymoller.com.

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WINDY NIGHTS
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
            Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
            A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?
 
Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
            And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
            By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again. 

PAINTING: “Windy Night” by Marilyn Jacobson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

NOTE: A fascinating project about Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) is currently in the works — a film about his life in San Francisco, with a screenplay by G.E. Gallas. Find out more at gegallas.wordpress.com.

Image
WINDY NIGHTS
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
            Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
            A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?
 
Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
            And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
            By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again. 

PAINTING: “Windy Night” by Marilyn Jacobson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A fascinating project about Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) is currently in the works — a film about his life in San Francisco, with a screenplay by G.E. Gallas. Find out more at gegallas.wordpress.com.

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I am a fan of found photos — and love looking at these vintage shots for the clothing, the furnishings, the food, and the decor. Regarding the found photo above, the “finder,” whitewall buick, states on Flickr.com“Found photo, three girls with kaleidoscopes , mid-1960s.”

Sir David Brewster — an inventor from Scotland — stumbled upon what came to be known as the kaleidoscope when he was conducting experiments on light polarization in 1815. (Hang on, everybody, just two more years until the big kaleidoscope bicentennial in 2015). Taken from Greek root words, the literal definition of kaleidoscope is “observer of beautiful forms.”

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I like to think that these three little girls enjoyed some lasting effects from this innocent summer pastime — and made a habit of observing beautiful forms.

Though faded, this found photo is loaded with information — starting with the girls’ adorable outfits: Miss Polka Dots, Miss Sailor Blouse, and Miss Lady Blue. Then there’s mom’s leather pocketbook and Jackie Kennedy sunglasses in the left-hand portion. We’ve got us some Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks and a Fiestaware pink pitcher in the center, and a vintage milk carton on the right-hand side.

I think of this trio of 1960s girls as what the ancient Greeks called The Three Graces (charm, beauty, and creativity). We are charmed watching these young ladies observe beauty in their kaleidoscopes — and feel certain this humble invention ignited a creative spark in all three.

Painting: “The Three Graces” by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)

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I have been on a found photo kick lately — I really love looking at these vintage shots for the clothing, the furnishings, the food, and the decor. Regarding the found photo above, the “finder,” whitewall buick, states on Flickr.com: “Found photo, three girls with kaleidoscopes , mid-1960s.”

Sir David Brewster — an inventor from Scotland — stumbled upon what came to be known as the kaleidoscope when he was conducting experiments on light polarization in 1815. (Hang on, everybody, just three more years until the big kaleidoscope bicentennial in 2015). Taken from Greek root words, the literal definition of kaleidoscope is “observer of beautiful forms.”

Image

I like to think that these three little girls enjoyed some lasting effects from this innocent summer pass-time — and made a habit of observing beautiful forms.

Though faded, this found photo is loaded with information — starting with the girls’ adorable outfits: Miss Polka Dots, Miss Sailor Blouse, and Miss Lady Blue. Then there’s mom’s leather pocketbook and Jackie Kennedy sunglasses in the left-hand portion. We’ve got us some Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks and a Fiestaware pink pitcher in the center, and a vintage milk carton on the right-hand side.

I think of this trio of 1960s girls as what the ancient Greeks called The Three Graces (charm, beauty, and creativity). We are charmed watching these young ladies observe beauty in their kaleidoscopes — and feel certain this humble invention ignited a creative spark in all three.

Painting: “The Three Graces” by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)